How to take your Performance Conversations to the Next Level

How do you move from having painful performance conversations to painless performance conversations?

The first thing to realise is that performance conversations are an ongoing part of the landscape in any workplace and it is part of your role as a manager.

If you don’t have the performance conversation, who will?
It is not HR’s job to have your performance conversations for you. HR can help and support you, of course, but as soon as you hand the performance conversation over, you look like a weak manager.

You need to take the lead.

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You need to look like a leader and sound like a leader. You need to have practised the skills beforehand… and not just once, but many times. So that when you need to use them they are there for you.

The video above is an extract from a recent MasterClass, How to Have Painless Performance Conversations.  This full lesson is about building your critical conversation toolkit so that you can confidently and painlessly discuss the difficult issues, even the really difficult issues.

You can now enrol in this lesson on Udemy, click here to claim a limited time discount.

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[Prefer reading to videos?  Read the Video Transcription Below!]

Taking you to the Next Level with your Performance Conversations

Your first step to get to the next level is Self-Awareness.

Self-Awareness is your key to growth.

You need to know your style when it comes to Performance Conversations and be honest with yourself about this.

There are 2 very common patterns when it comes to Performance Conversations…

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Are you an Avoider or a Controller?

Think about that question for a moment and be honest with yourself.

You’ll know your style through:

  • What you’re saying to yourself about the situation. (The stories you’re telling yourself about the other person.)
  • What you do in the Performance Conversation.

Without awareness, you won’t know what you’re thinking or what your pattern might be. You need to know the signs.

What are the Signs?

Signs of an Avoider:

  • You’re afraid of what might happen if you raise the issue
  • You secretly hope the issue will just go away
  • You think you don’t have time to have the conversation
  • You’re more worried about hurting their feelings than resolving the issue (or worried that they won’t like you)
  • You begin to avoid employees altogether or can’t be yourself around them
  • You wish someone else would fix it
  • Your fear keeps you from acting

There’s no judgement here in any of this. This is really about the awareness of your patterns.

The Avoidance style used to be me. I’m someone who loves harmony, I don’t like conflict at all. I was a big Avoider until I learnt and practised the skills.

You can’t change something you’re not aware of and avoidance is a state of flight, meaning your amygdala is in charge. The primitive part of your brain is in charge and remember this is not you at your best!

Signs of a Controller:critical conversation,painless performance conversations

  • Tell people what they should do
  • Think your solution is the only solution
  • Get impatient and frustrated easily with others
  • Move to threats quickly
  • Want to move to disciplinary action quickly. (“I just want to get rid of this person.”)
  • Strong need to be right
  • Manipulate the situation to make the other person look or feel bad – try and catch them out – make them wrong

Controlling is a state of fight, meaning your amygdala is in charge and this is not you at your best!

Final Note

You might find that you’re a Controller in some situations and an Avoider in others.

The important thing to know is that neither style works very well.

Both styles will get in the way of you achieving results.

As we way in one of our Great Managers mantras: 

It’s all about results- and you can only achieve results through people.”

If you would like to learn HOW to manage your style and have painless performance conversations, enrol in our Udemy course today. Click here for a limited time discount.

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